High school is nothing like anything you have experienced yet in your life. Now, that may terrify you and it is more than OK if it does. You have been exposed to the same people, the same area, and the same rules for your entire life, and suddenly everything is changing. Four years ago I had the same concerns and the same pit in my stomach that you may have now. Among other things, I experienced the first day of high school, the first time getting lost and the first football game. These were a couple of things that personally freaked me out when I was going into my freshman year. Luckily for me, I had an older brother already in high school, and he shared his knowledge and wisdom with me to help ease my nerves. I plan to share my mistakes, the lessons I have learned, and much more to hopefully help you.
If you are scared that the seniors are going to bully you and make your life hell, change that thought. We like showing you to that class you can’t find, we like seeing you dress up with us for Spirit Week. Having school spirit and making a trusting community is what staff and students like to see; it makes the environment more fun and comfortable. So, join clubs, try out for a sport, and if nothing interests you, make your own club. You are your own individual; don’t feel ashamed of what interests you or dress how you want to dress.
Making mistakes in high school is encouraged. This is the time in your life when you can make mistakes and learn from them to prevent them from being chaotic in the future. In fact, having someone you can talk to about them will also make things so much easier. If you have the opportunity to form a trusting bond with a teacher, your life will become much simpler. In middle school, the drama may have been something that happened daily, but now that you are in high school, it needs to stop. If you do not like someone, he or she does not need to know it, and being polite to someone you dislike, isn’t being fake — it’s being mature. Remember, people will always find something to talk about; it’s unfortunate but it’s true. Sadly, people get bored with their lives and like to start stories in others’, without caring about the damage it is doing. The best way to cope with this, in my experience, is to ignore it or to make a joke out of it. Embracing whatever people say about you makes you stronger and more confident.
Social media is a dangerous game to play. Naturally, I have every form of it that you could think of. Do not post that picture of you doing something illegal, do not make that Finsta (a fake Instagram account) post if it hurts someone's feelings, and absolutely do not send any pictures you wouldn’t want your parents or grandparents to see. You may think you can trust people with a certain pictures of you — until they screenshot or show their friends. Relationships in high school are a gamble on time. You will cry over someone, you will make someone cry, and at the time it will suck. When you get to that point, reflect on the memories and accept that it is over. It only stings for a little bit.
Your parents or guardian only want the best for you. Let them worry about you as much as they want: You are their baby, and the thought of losing you hurts them. Spend as much time with them as you can because you never know what will happen. Laugh at your Dad's corny jokes, or go to the grocery store with your Mom, make memories with them. They do the things they do because they care about you and want the utmost best for you.
While making memories with them, don’t forget to make memories with your friends. Take silly pictures, do stupid stuff, go to that party that doesn’t seem fun. Dance all night and laugh at the kid who falls down the stairs. Get ready with friends before a sporting event, and actually show up to it. Cheer on your friends at their games, if you can make a nickname for them, do it.
High school is about learning who you are while also having fun. College is around the corner and you’re going to want to look back at the memories and remember all of the positives. Feel the nerves on your first day of school, really soak in your first heartbreak, look back and smile on the times spent with your friends, and keep those feelings close to you. It is overwhelming but not the end of the world. You will survive high school. Embrace this next chapter.